PhD Studentship: Delivering a healthy and sustainable food economy in Letchworth Garden City

University of Hertfordshire

This is a four-year studentship in the Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management at the University of Hertfordshire with funding from the Letchworth Garden Cities Heritage Foundation (LGCHF) and the Hertfordshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP). The start date is 01 October 2017.

Project outline

The aim of the project is to underpin and improve the economic base of Letchworth Garden City in relation to food: applying planning, governance and policy tools which are of practical benefit to the townspeople and their health and well being, and the sustainability of the community and its environment. The project will contribute to the land stewardship model at the heart of the Garden City’s governance and provide food economy benefits to the town’s residents, workers and visitors. These benefits will embrace food production and consumption, including production spaces, and links to food delivery, availability and retail. The project will link the food economy as a socio-cultural experience and learning vehicle, to seek public health dividends. The research may provide technological and applied methods for mapping and enabling these food economy activities and good practices with employment and commercial outcomes.

The student will spend the first year working in Letchworth identifying and defining the specific project needs for the LGCHF under the direction of David Ames, Head of Heritage and Strategic Planning at LGCHF, and with Dr Susan Parham, Academic Director at the International Garden Cities Institute (as part of her UH academic role), also part of the LGCHF. The work helps directly connect Ebenezer Howard’s original principles and proposals in relation to the food economy to the current and future functioning of the town, and Letchworth’s role as an exemplar Garden City.

Eligibility: Applicants will have an Honours degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in a relevant social science discipline, and/or a relevant Master’s degree. They should have a good knowledge of urban planning and the UK food system. A strong interest in Garden City principles would be an advantage.

Funding: This is a four-year PhD studentship co-funded by the University of Hertfordshire and the LGCHF. The studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees and pay the stipend of £14,553 per year for four years, starting from October 2017.

Training. The University of Hertfordshire has a comprehensive training programme for postgraduate students to gain transferrable skills, such as scientific writing and presentation skills. The principal research supervisors will be Dr. Susan Parham and Professor David Barling at the University of Hertfordshire.

How to apply: Eligible applicants are asked to register their interest by e-mailing their CV with details of two referees and a statement regarding their suitability for this PhD studentship to Dr Susan Parham email, phone 01707 284166 or mobile 07713 080709; or Professor David Barling email, phone 01707 285133. Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be addressed to either Dr. Susan Parham or Professor David Barling as detailed above.

Closing Date for applications: Monday 29 May 2017

Interviews are expected to take place in mid to late June.

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